Debate Prep: The Candidates’ Marginal Rate Proposals #debates

By Sam Brunson

In anticipation of tonight’s debate, I’m going to describe what both candidates propose to do with tax rates, provide a little commentary, and suggest a couple questions that the moderator might ask to clarify what the candidates plan on doing.

The candidates’ proposals for individual tax rates illustrate one of their biggest divergences. As best I can tell, in fact, their plans for tax rates are as different as it is possible to be. And what are those plans? Continue reading “Debate Prep: The Candidates’ Marginal Rate Proposals #debates”

Debate Prep: The Candidates’ Estate Tax Plans

By David Herzig

With the first Presidential debate tonight, we are sure (or at least I hope) to hear about various tax plans.  I would expect that the estate tax would be a topic of conversation since there is such a sharp contrast between the candidates.  The current reporting spins that Donald Trump wants to eliminate the estate tax; while, Hillary Clinton wants to tax the rich through a two-prong increase on the estate tax.  I thought it would be useful in advance of the debate to discuss the candidates’ actual estate tax plans. (If there is a PA for Lester Holt looking for some last minute questions for the candidates – scroll to the bottom and steal away no attribution needed!)

Currently, there is an estate (or death) tax. Unfortunately for the fisc, the tax accounts for less than 1 percent of federal revenue.  (See, Tax Foundation). What is amazing is that at other points in time, the tax actually raised revenue and effected many estates.  The primary reason for the drop in revenues even though overall net worth has increased, is related to the exemption amount available for taxpayers.  In 1976, the exemption amount per estate was $60,000 while today it is $5.45 million.  (I tackle a lot of these issues in my upcoming University of Southern California Law Review article).

Continue reading “Debate Prep: The Candidates’ Estate Tax Plans”